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Valley woman accused of killing mom was arrested before for threatening her

Holly Brennan (Scottsdale Police Photo)

PHOENIX — The Scottsdale woman who police said admitted to smothering her mother with a pillow Monday was arrested in 2017 for threatening to murder her, according to court documents.

According to the documents, Holly Brennan, now 46, had allegedly made the threat against Sharon Simmons, 79, in a Facebook post.

Brennan also told police that in December 2018 she had thoughts about murdering her mother and sought unspecified treatment.

On Monday, someone called 911 around 2 p.m. and said their neighbor asked them to call. When the dispatcher began asking questions, the person handed the phone to that neighbor, who was later identified as Brennan.

At first, Brennan said she needed police but refused to say why.

In a second call, she told the dispatcher that she smothered her mom Sunday. When officers arrived to the apartment near 64th Street and Osborn Road, they found Simmons dead in her bed, with a pillow partially covering her face.

According to court documents, Brennan told police that she had decided to commit the murder a few minutes in advance and that there was no altercation leading up to it.

During her interview with police, Brennan said “I wanted her gone” and “I hated her,” according to the documents.

She told them that after the attack, she walked to a nearby Circle K to purchase vodka for herself and gin for her mom. When she returned, she placed the bottle of gin by her mom.

Police said they located the bottle of gin on the victim’s stomach.

Brennan faces one count of second-degree murder and is being held on $1 million bond.

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